The Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF) is the 501(c)(4) political action arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). Founded in 2014, the group describes its mission as being to “provide a forum for conservative attorneys general and their staff to study, discuss, and engage on important legal policy issues affecting the states.” One of RLDF’s primary funders is the Judicial Crisis Network/The Concord Fund.
January 6, 2021
- RLDF was one of the sponsors of the March to Save America, the rally at the Ellipse where Trump and other speakers fired up the crowd just before the violent attack on the Capitol. It reportedly contributed $150,000 to support the event.
- Prior to the insurrection, RLDF staff members oversaw robocalls to Trump supporters urging them to come to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021 to protest the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. “We will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” the recorded message said in part. “We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections.”
- In a statement made after the mob attacked Capitol Police and disrupted the congressional election certification process underway, RLDF Chair Steve Marshall claimed that he was “unaware of unauthorized decisions made by RLDF staff with regard to this week’s rally.”
- Following its publication of the recorded RLDF robocall, Documented reported that the group issued the following statement: “Republican Attorneys General Association and Rule of Law Defense Fund had no involvement in the planning, sponsoring, or the organization of Wednesday’s event.”
- In the days, weeks and months after the insurrection, staff and leadership at RLDF’s parent organization, RAGA, sought to distance themselves from both RLDF and RAGA. In the wake of revelations about the robocalls, RAGA Executive Director Adam Piper resigned. According to reporting by the Center for Media and Democracy, the group replaced him with Peter Bisbee, the RLDF leader who had been in charge of the robocall effort. This move led to the resignations of Georgia Attorney General and RAGA Chairman Chris Car and RAGA’s director of operations.
The Big Lie
- In the run-up to the 2020 election, RLDF hosted a two-day “war games” conference with senior staffers for Republican attorneys general. The AP reported that on September 24 RAGA’s executive director sent an email addressed to “Generals” saying that the conference would offer a “series of conversations planning for what could come if we lose the White House.”
- Two days before the war games event in Atlanta, participants received another email urging secrecy, telling them: “All the policy conversations are off the record.”